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Fighting Light Pollution


The most important thing to remember when fighting against light pollution is that everyone benefits:  homeowners, drivers, pedestrians, businesses, teachers, police, astronomers, everyone.

Proper lighting, light which does not spoil the night sky for astronomers, also benefits public safety, improves night vision, reduces light trespass, protects nature, and saves money and energy.

"Light Pollution" is light which goes where it is not needed or wanted and light which is unnecessarily bright.

"Proper Lighting" is provided by light fixtures which  direct light only where needed, which do not shine to the side or up into the sky, and do not glare into our eyes. Generally, the light bulb is not visible and the illuminated object is visible.

Saving money and energy:  because proper lighting fixtures direct light only where needed;  are not brighter than needed;  and use efficient reflectors;  such fixtures require lower wattage bulbs to provide excellent illumination. Lower wattage equals less energy, less pollution,
less cost.

Protecting nature:  light shining into natural areas disturbs the cycles of the animals. Great flocks of dead birds are found at the base of overly illuminated communication towers.

Reduced Light Trespass:  Lights which shine to the side, crossing property lines and entering bedroom windows, are wasteful and annoying.

Improved Night Vision:
 Light which shines into our eyes is blinding, defeating night vision. A driveway properly illuminated by 50 watts of downward directed light is easier to see than the same driveway illuminated by 150 watts of light glaring into the eyes.

Click Here for Higher Resolution Graphic of Good and Bad Lighting Fixtures
(Note:  this is a 700K file and may take a minute to load.)

For more light pollution information:   http://www.darksky.org

Current Light Pollution Laws in Connecticut, Arizona, Maine, New Mexico, Texas

Proposed Light Pollution Law for Minnesota

Model Light Pollution Law for a Municipality

For more information about non-polluting lighting, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America:  http://www.iesna.org

For amateur astronomy in Minnesota, and advice on all things astronomical, the Minnesota Astronomical Society:
http://www.mnastro.org


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Rev. 05-01-2003
MTK